Daryl Horgan is hoping that his first taste of a Louth Derby in eight years proves to be as memorable as his last when Dundalk play host to Drogheda United on Friday night.
That 31-year-old hasn’t featured in a clash with the Boynesiders since September 2015 when Stephen Kenny’s double-winning Dundalk side hit the hapless Drogs for six at Oriel Park.
Horgan, who is in line to make the 500th senior appearance of his career on Friday night, opened the scoring in that 6-0 win but he’s anticipating a much stiffer test from Kevin Doherty’s men in the 175th derby clash on Friday.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. “I’ve had some amazing nights in Louth Derbies but I’ve also had a couple of bad nights as well. My first game for Dundalk was a 4-1 defeat at United Park in 2014.
“Drogheda had a good result against St Pat’s on Monday so it’s going to be tough. Like any derby, form goes out the window and they can take on a life of their own but we’ve had a couple of days to recover from the Cork game and we’ll be ready to go.”
Monday’s 5-0 win over Cork City, combined with results elsewhere, left the door ajar for Dundalk’s European hopes but Horgan said it was pointless looking at what others were doing.
“All we can do is focus on ourselves,” he said. “There’s no point wondering what will happen if teams drop points here or drop points there.
“We’ve just got to go and try and beat Drogheda and then worry about the game after that. Right now, the focus is fully on the derby.”
Dundalk have a 100% record against the Drogs this season and Stephen O’Donnell said that it would be nice to complete a clean sweep going into the final four games of a season that could end up going to the wire.
“It’s the last Louth Derby of the season and both teams are coming off the back of good wins on Monday so it has the makings of a really good game,” said O’Donnell.
“The season has never really settled down and because of that, there’s a lot of teams with things still to play for and a lot of teams very condensed in the table.
“We can only focus on ourselves. We had a good result and a good performance on Monday and we’re looking to carry that into tomorrow.”
Team News: Robbie Benson returns after serving a one-game suspension and Keith Ward is available again but Paul Doyle will be assessed after going off in the win over Cork City with a groin injury. John Mountney (knee) and Connor Malley (quad) are doubtful while Louie Annesley and Andy Boyle are making good progress with their recovery.